#102: Frauds And Visionaries – Bethany McLean

1 min read
#102: Frauds And Visionaries – Bethany McLean

Bethany McLean is an investigative journalist and contributing editor for Vanity Fair.

Show notes

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Topics discussed

  • How did Bethany become a journalist? 4:13
  • How did Enron come to be Enron? 6:30
  • How did Bethany see through Enron when most others were beguiled by it? 8:33
  • What was the reaction to Bethany’s original article expressing skepticism about Enron? 11:35
  • Why was Enron an example of ‘legal fraud’? 13:34
  • How to spot the “dogs” dressed up as “ducks”. 16:20
  • What were the ultimate causes of Enron’s collapse? 19:43
  • How did so many smart people at Enron become so corrupted? 30:06
  • Bethany’s book recommendations. 32:42
  • The fine line between frauds and visionaries. 34:56
  • Self-deception. 41:56
  • If Elizabeth Holmes succeeded, would the end have justified her means? 45:23
  • Elon Musk. 46:54
  • The truth about fracking. 55:14
  • How does Bethany stay organised as a journalist? 57:17
  • How does Bethany put questions to her sources? 58:36
  • Balancing accuracy with narrative flair. 59:35
  • Which factors help Bethany decide which facts to include in a story and which to omit from it? 1:05:40
  • How to construct an effective narrative. 1:11:46
  • What business model could scale up investigative journalism? 1:17:54
  • How does democracy survive the eroding of journalism’s traditional business model? 1:24:04